Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen has apologized for praising Fidel Castro. He did so on Friday in an interview with Time. Guillen said he loved and respected Castro for staying in power for sixty years.
The Marlins quickly rebuked Guillen stating, “There is nothing to respect about Fidel Castro.” After the Marlins made their position towards Castro clear, Guillen changed his tune stating, “I’m against everything the way he’s treated people the last 60 years.”
This isn’t the first time Guillen has landed in hot water for making political statements. In May 2010, while still manager of the Chicago White Sox, Guillen criticized the Arizona immigration law and said he would boycott the 2011 All-Star Game in Phoenix.
Guillen’s praise of Castro is peculiar given his war of words with actor Sean Penn for his defense of Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez. Guillen is, of course, a native of Venezuela.
On the other hand, anyone who follows Guillen knows he shoots from the hip and often doesn’t think before he speaks. The Cuban fans in Miami will probably boo Guillen when the Marlins return to Miami next Friday. But if Ozzie leads the Marlins to a World Series title the jeers will turn to cheers.